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BOOK REVIEW:
HOW STARBUCKS SAVED MY LIFE:
A SON OF PRIVILEGE LEARNS TO LIVE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
BY MICHAEL GATES GILL

We hope you enjoy this book review by Sandra Pianin.

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When Michael Gates Gill, suffers two back to back life altering experiences, he realizes his future is changed forever. Gill, the son of New Yorker writer, Brendan Gilll, was a creative director at J. Walter Thompson for 25 plus years. One day he was fired. Next, he tried to become a consultant in the advertising field. He was still attempting to network new clients as he sat in a midtown New York City Starbucks. Gill did not know that Starbucks was looking for new employees. A Starbucks Manager offers him an interview. After several weeks, Gill was working in an upper Westside New York City Starbucks.

As Gill relates his new adventures as a barista for Starbucks, he reflects on his privileged life through anecdote and memory. He also offers the reader a very wonderful personal account of his relationship with his young African American supervisor and fellow Starbucks employees.

This is a very important book for several reasons. The primary reason is that Gill chose not to sue J. Walter Thompson for firing him because they only wanted a young workforce. Another reason is that Gill explores one of America's dirtiest secrets--how mature workers are treated by corporate structures.

Michael Gill made several poor choices in his life. He was a nonexistent dad for his four children from his marriage and tried to make it up with his toddler son from his love affair. But, he is learning and growing as a human being as he works for Starbucks as a barista.

How Gill and his Starbucks co-workers create a senstive and supportive work atmosphere is worthy of high praise. The coporate structure of Starbucks, indeed, should be acknowledged for their work rules and attitudes toward employees. This book is my personal favorite for 2007, so far!

REVIEWED BY SANDRA PIANIN

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, SANDRA PIANIN

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